What is PR?

Over the last years, I’ve had many conversations with interior designers. I love to learn about everyone’s business, find out what makes them unique and what the challenges are. One of the things that naturally comes up is PR. A question a lot of interior designers seem to have is what PR really is and when it is time to start doing it. Lucky me, this is one of my favorite topics!

If you ask me, I can honestly tell you that any stage of an interior design business offers plenty of opportunity for PR.  I’ll go into more detail on this topic next week.

What I want to tell you today is that, in reality, you are always doing PR whether you know it or not. PR stands for Public Relations, which literally means it encompasses all the communications you have with your audiences - your clients, your vendors, your partners, your staff, your neighbors, your community, your peers, and so on..

Public Relations consists of many specialty areas including:

  • Reputation management
  • Crisis communications
  • Media relations
  • Content marketing
  • Internal communications
  • Special events
  • Social media
  • Strategic communications
  • Executive thought leadership
  • Speech writing
  • Email marketing
  • Influencer relations
  • Social media advertising
  • Cause marketing
  • Experiential marketing
  • Investor relations
  • Public affairs
  • Community relations
  • Sponsorships
  • Partnerships

I’ve borrowed this list from my friend Gini Dietrich from Spin Sucks who is one of the foremost authorities in the PR space. The vast variety of things included may be the reason why it’s so hard to explain what PR actually is. I think my parents still don’t really know what I do even if I’ve tried too explain it. 

You may not be familiar with all of the specialties but you probably realize now that you are using a lot of them in your business. Everyone does PR all the time, whether they know it or not.

In my opinion, since you are doing it anyway, you may as well be intentional about it, right?! 

PR, and as a part of it media relations, should be a piece of your marketing that neatly fits in with everything else you are doing. There is definitely a lot of overlap between social media, advertising and PR, and I am not here to argue about what belongs in what bucket. My point is they all need to work together as a team, it’s like a big happy family. And we all know it’s important that all family members get along - one cranky one can make everyone’s life miserable. So don’t neglect PR!

There is a good chance you didn’t think about PR in this way. Maybe - like most people, even some professional marketers and communicators - you thought of PR only as media relations, also known as press or publicity. In the interior design world getting press is definitely critical because of the credibility it provides but try to keep the bigger picture top of mind.

When you approach your PR and media relations strategy, always consider that publicity doesn’t happen in a vacuum but is a reflection of you, your brand and your overall business.


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